Thanks to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, every job has guidelines to ensure that employees are protected from hazardous environments or safety equipment in disrepair. To make sure your workplace meets OSHA guidelines, consider some of the common signs of an unsafe work environment so you can respond swiftly and avoid hazards.
While some work environments are safer than others, you should always develop protocols and training so that employees know what to do in the event of an emergency or injury. This training could include evacuation procedures during a fire or proper training using heavy equipment. You should also show your employees how to use all personal protective equipment, and ensure all workers learn about potential environmental hazards.
Most people think of physical injuries from falls or natural dangers, but an unsafe workplace could result from the actions of other employees. Hostile work environments can include physical fights or emotional and verbal abuse. You should immediately address tensions and problems between employees. You may have to take a wider look at your employees’ circumstances to see if anything is causing stress. For example, overworking can exhaust employees and negatively impact their tolerance and patience.
You must ensure you provide enough safety equipment for all of your employees. In construction or other manual labor fields, this could include guard rails to avoid falls, respirators and cartridges for unhealthy air qualities, or safety harnesses when working in confined spaces. If you fail to provide safety equipment, you will violate OSHA guidelines, so you must invest in the equipment immediately.
You should know that OSHA guidelines are not recommendations, but established best practices you must legally follow. Failing to do so will result in fines and other legal ramifications. Make sure you take care of the signs of an unsafe work environment to protect your employees and your business.